Ramón Nsé Esono Ebalé, an Equatorial Guinean cartoonist who works under the pen name Jamón y Queso was detained by government security officers on September 16th. Seized in a restaurant in the capital city, Malabo, Ebalé is being held without charge.
Human Rights Watch reports:
“The arrest of the cartoonist, Ramón Nsé Esono Ebalé, is the latest episode of government retaliation against artists who have used their work to criticize the government. EG authorities should repeal the country’s colonial-era defamation statute, which allows for the criminal prosecution of people who criticize the president and top government officials. They should abandon any plans to charge Ebalé under that law and, if he is accused of no other crime, release him immediately and without charge.”
“Prosecuting a cartoonist for unflattering satirical drawings is incompatible with free speech and only highlights the power of the pen,” said Sarah Saadoun, researcher at Human Rights Watch.
See the full report from Human Rights Watch here: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/19/equatorial-guinea-political-cartoonist-arrested
Cartoonist Rights Network International urges people to contact the Equatorial Guinean government and express their concern for the welfare of Ebalé and demand his immediate release.
An easy email form for the Equatorial Embassy can be accessed here